Much to the small old man’s surprise, Han Li rejected him before he could continue. But soon, he thought of something, and the wrinkles on his face relaxed.
With a faint smile, he said, “Fellow Daoist, there is no need to make a decision so quickly. It’d be best to listen to what I have to say first or you might suffer misfortune.”
“Misfortune? Now I’m interested. Go on, enlighten me.” Han Li held his hands behind his back and wore a pensive expression.
“Fellow Daoist is quite wise. First, I’ll have you take a look at something and we can save the rest of the discussion for later.” The old man chuckled and slapped a pouch at his waist, releasing a streak of green light. It circled once around in the air before landing on the old man’s head to reveal a fist-sized spirit beast.
It appeared to be a giant slug, but with a body that was emerald-green and had long, translucent antennae slowly moving around it.
“A slug beast...” Han Li said with a sullen expression, “Why did you bring it out? Could it be you wish to shoot me with its venom?”
“This low-grade spirit beast couldn’t possibly pose a threat to you, Fellow Daoist Li, but it does have a minor mutation that has the capability of breaking through a few illusion techniques. During the time Fellow Daoist Li stood in confrontation against the cultivators of the Yin Sifting Sect, I had a thread of spiritual sense attached to the beast. You should understand what I’m implying.” The old man then stroked the slug on his head with a satisfied expression.
“What does Fellow Daoist plan on doing with that knowledge?” Han Li felt his heart tremble when he heard the capabilities of the slug, but his expression remained entirely calm.
The old man chuckled with a face full of greed. “There is no need for Fellow Daoist to be so cold. I didn’t mean anything by it — Well, so long as you agree to present a few treasures or a large sum of spirit stones of course. Then I will forget all about what I just saw, and I’ll be sure to leave you alone.”
Rather than show anger, Han Li wore a light smile and asked, “You’re blackmailing me?”
The old man took two steps back and wore a sinister smile. “What, you’re thinking about killing me? You’d best forget it.I have no fear of your threats as I naturally set up something to protect myself: I already had a disciple of mine following after the Yin Sifting Sect and that Endless Sky Saintess. Once something happens to me, he will immediately tell them of the bamboo tube’s illusion. I’m sure it will become quite troublesome for you. And don’t forget that many high-grade cultivators have come to the Jin Capital to participate in the grand auction as well. Do you feel that it is wise to kill me in the city? So long as I let out a whistle, you will be left helpless. While four or five Nascent Soul cultivators might not be enough to kill you, how about seven or eight? To my knowledge, there are quite a few Yin Sifting Sect Elders in the Jin capital. Do you have the confidence of fleeing so many? It is a wise decision to take the loss and avoid calamity. You have no choice.” Then with that said, a wooden shield flew out from his sleeve and transformed into a yellow light barrier that surrounded him.
Han Li tightly frowned while he stared at the barrier, his expression wavering as he pondered.
After a long while, his expression returned to normal and he calmly said, “It seems I’ll have to make a few concessions or it will be somewhat troublesome. Could you tell me what you want?”
The old man rejoiced upon hearing him and hastily said, “Good, I’m not particularly picky! I am only looking for wealth and have no intention of fighting. So long as Fellow Daoist gives me a few ancient treasures, I will be satisfied.”
The old man’s greed had caused Han Li to unconsciously raise his brow and grabbed his storage pouch with a solemn expression. Then, with a flip of his hand, an egg-sized golden-silver ball of light appeared.
“You want several ancient treasures? You have quite an appetite. While I don’t have other ancient treasures, I did encounter this Cloudnight Pearl in the past. Because it isn’t suitable for my uses, I will give it to you. Don’t be too greedy, or it will surely consume you.” Han Li spoke with an unhappy tone and then sent the sphere over with a shake of his wrist.
The old man wore a happy expression but his eyes flickered. Rather than reaching out to catch the treasure, he tossed the slug to the side and with a wave of his sleeve, he wrapped the golden-silver ball in black light.
He used the slug to further verify that the sphere wasn’t an illusion and that it didn’t have the aura of an owner. He then suspiciously stared at it for a long while before grabbing it. As he carefully examined it, he muttered, “This item’s decorative design is quite unique and is much different from ordinary treasures. Could you tell me its effects?”
“It’d be best if you were to personally give it a try. I can guarantee, it will certainly satisfy you.”
“Right, but don’t think that a single ancient treasure will be enough to send me away!” As the old man excitedly poured magic power into the sphere, thoughts of further blackmail filled his mind.
Han Li’s lips curled into a faint smirk.
“Yes, it isn’t enough,” Han Li’s voice suddenly turned void of emotion, “So how about I send you off to the afterlife?”
The old man was alarmed but was too late to react. All of his magic power was being violently absorbed by the golden-silver ball.
With a light bang, the ball suddenly ruptured into several tens of Han Li’s few remaining black-tainted Gold Devouring Beetles. As soon as they appeared, they fiercely darted towards his face.
There was no dodging at such a short distance. Dread simply flashed through his mind as the beetles covered his head and began to gnaw. If it weren’t for the dense light protecting his body and his massive cultivation, the beetles would’ve torn him apart.
With so many fierce insects tearing at his face, he was temporarily blinded and began to furiously claw at them with hands glowing with black light. At that same time, he took a breath of air in an attempt to whistle and attract the attention of other cultivators.
But then, he heard a snort that caused his blood to run cold. He felt his spiritual sense tear apart in pain as his body convulsed and he let out an agonizing scream.
In his shock, he instantly took to the air and felt the sharp pain afflicting his spiritual sense disappear. Then, the beetles covering his face flew off of him, allowing him to see once more, only to reveal a meter-long golden sword wrapped in purple flames cleaving towards him.
“Ahhh!” A screamed sounded out. It was too late for the old man to do much except pour the entirety of his spiritual power into the light barrier in front of him and pray.
In furious alarm, he now realized that this overseas vagrant cultivator had planned on killing him from the start, with not the slightest intention of subjecting himself to blackmail. The old man only felt regret for provoking this person. Fortunately, his yellow wood shield was a powerful ancient treasure. It shouldn’t have a problem blocking even a mid-Nascent Soul cultivator.
Just as the old man thought this, the golden sword sliced through the golden barrier like soft tofu.
The sword continued to fall and released a blinding flash of light as it cleaved the old man’s body into two, revealing an inch-large black Nascent Soul from the resulting gap. It was shocked still in terror and was then sealed in a chunk of purple ice.
The weapon circled once in the air after the strike and smoothly cleaved through the slug at the side, showering the air with its blood before taking back to the air.
Then, several bolts of dense golden lightning leapt from the sword and wrapped around the Nascent Soul before thoroughly destroying it in a series of rolling thunderous booms.
Han Li appeared relaxed, but he wasn’t done yet. He reached his hand out to the old man’s body and a storage pouch flew into his hand. At that same moment, three fist-sized scarlet fireballs flew out from his other hand, turning the old man’s two halves and the slug beast into ash.
Han Li then calmly soared into the sky and disappeared without a trace.
A quarter hour later, five streaks of various-colored light flew through the sky and dropped down at the scene.
They were, Ge Tianhao, the other two Sifting Yin Sect Elders, the Endless Sky Saintess and an unfamiliar youth at Core Formation stage.
“Here! This was where Master’s aura had disappeared.” The youth looked at the magic tool in his hand with an uneasy expression.
Ge Tianhao swept his eyes nearby and spotted a few dark-red splatters. With a gloomy expression, he said, “There are still remnant spiritual Qi fluctuations and traces of blood here. The aura of that Cultivator Li is still present as well. It appears your master has already died.”
“I have no interest in shadowy characters like yourself. It’d be best for you to leave.”